I was interviewed on bringing the power of passion and intention in creating the life I want, AND WINNING against the odds!
As millions of people all round the world struggle to cope with isolation and death, I reflect on ways to deal with unexpected life events. Those of you who have read “Standing Up! My story of hope advocacy and survival after stroke”, will know I am well able to understand and empathise with those who have experienced catastrophic life changes. My stroke left me unable to ever work again. So goodbye to travelling to many parts of the world and all round Australia, delivering leadership development programs and 1:1 executive coaching sessions. Work I loved and thrived upon. I suffered untold grief when my daughter died at 37 years of age. Because of my acute stroke disabilities, I could not care for her during her long illness. Fortunately her devoted husband did this superbly and lovingly. So why do I recount my experiences of loss? It is to encourage you to find ways of keeping a sense of perspective and hopefully your sanity. I found ways to continue to contribute to the [...]
I want to continue the life I had before the stroke. However, toilets can be a huge issue. When I go to the State Theatre at the Arts Centre the access into the theatre is excellent, however the disability toilet is a long walk from my seat. There is not enough time at interval to go to the bathroom. I was a member of a board that met in the Australia Post HQ. All 19 floors have toilets for the disabled, or so they think, they have been signed off by the powers that be! Supposedly all the boxes have been ticked! However, the rails by the toilets are all on the left side. This is of no use to me. I need them on the right! A conversation with someone like me, could have sorted this out satisfactorily for all users. Many pubs and restaurants say they have toilets for those with a disability. Only to find there are steps or even stairs to access them. So an outing can entail [...]
The flying cranes represent for me the physical and emotional journey. They are the embodiment of the soul rising above adversity. The raw significance of this came when Lucinda’s husband filled her room with paper cranes for her last birthday. An act of exquisite love for her, one of countless thousands for which I am eternally grateful.
I was delighted to be invited to contribute to a conference on Ageing Well last week. It was convened by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour. My contribution was of course based on my personal experience. It was also informed by my many years of leadership coaching. My main themes were as follows. It is important to have meaning and purpose in your life. To have all age groups close to you and stay socially connected, in your world. It is vital to manage your illnesses and stay active. Based on my reading of Martin Seligman ‘Authentic Happiness’ and George Vaillant ‘Aging Well’. It is important to stay true to who you know who yourself to be. Most importantly be grateful for the life you have lived. Gratitude draws people to you.
I am fortunate to have survived the catastrophic stroke I experienced in August 2011. I am slowly reclaiming aspects of the life I enjoyed previously. Watch this space for tips that I hope will help you embrace the life you want. Let’s start with my visit yesterday to the Terracotta Warriors at the NGV. This is an exhilarating exhibition. We are so fortunate in Melbourne to have this fabulous gallery. It is accessible in a wheelchair with good toilets for the disabled. Staff are kind and helpful.